Have you ever heard of Operation Christmas Child? This is a program that both my husband and I love. Our church is a collection site, so it is really easy for us to donate.
Basically, you fill a shoebox (you can purchase them for a $1, use a shoebox you already have, or use a plastic shoebox) with toys and other gifts. You choose either girl or boy and the age group. We did a box for a girl and boy. Both with the age group 2-4 years.
I did purchase the two boxes for $1 and I do like how they are decorated festive. However, I decided to use the plastic shoebox because then the kids can reuse them. :) I will just use those cardboard ones for other Christmas gifts.
Here are the items I got for a little girl. I wish I could have fit more in the box! I spent $22 on gifts for both the girl and boy. I had to keep the cost even, or I would have gone insane! :) There is toothpaste, 2 tooth brushes, a princess tiara, princess stickers, princess coloring book, crayons, Doodle Pro, pretty barrettes, My Little Pony (my favorite!), and a flashing bouncy ball. I really wish I could have fit a Barbie in the box, but the My Little Pony made up for it. :)
Buying little boy stuff just wasn't as much fun, but I hope the little guy who gets this box enjoys it! I did buy M&M's for both boxes because the sheet I got at church said candy was a good option. Well, when I got home and looked up Operation Christmas Child online it says only hard candy and suckers. I took the M&M's out and will get two packages of suckers instead.
The little boy box includes toothpaste, 2 tooth brushes, a recorder, Doodle Pro, 4 tractors, 5 Hot Wheels, flashing bouncy ball, crayons, coloring book, and sticker book.
I wish I could fit more in, but the tops barely fit on these with just this stuff!
You can go on the website and see if you have a donation site near you. I live in a rural area and have 6 right in my area! If you don't you can print the labels off online and mail your box to the address provided.
These boxes will be going all over the world to children who are less fortunate. Including the $7 (per box) donation for shipping each box cost me about $30. My husband and I were talking about this. When was the last time $30 made your year?
It makes me feel good to do this, but it also makes me feel incredibly sad. We have so much to be thankful for living in the U.S. We really have no idea what it is like to live in true poverty. In the U.S there is assistance for those in need. Other parts of the world don't have that!
I encourage everyone to do this, or another great deed for children in need this holiday season. You can brighten a child's life more than you will ever know!